Brazil - Day 1: Youth forum and scene setting
Your delegation started gathering for the 39th World Scout Conference in Curitiba, Brazil on Sunday and comprises:
Fiona Durrant County Scout Network Chair, Hampshire
Craig Dewar District Explorer Scout Commissioner, West Lancs
David Morton Network member, Inverness and Trustee
James Boyle Global Adviser, Europe, International team
Andrew Lannin Manager, International Affairs and Activities
Nigel Hailey International Commissioner
Derek Twine Chief Executive
Wayne Bulpitt UK Chief Commisioner
Also here in Brazil from The Scout Association in respect of their wider roles are John May, a member of the World Scout Committee, Craig Turpie, Chair of the European Committee and Derek Pollard as Chair of the Constitutions Committee of the World Orgnization of the Scout Movement (WOSM).
Our youth members had a very long day travelling by coach from Florianopolis on the Brazilian coast where they had been attending the 10th World Scout Youth Forum and inter-event. More from them shortly as I hand over my blog...
Raiding the piggy banks
Andy and James were lucky to be with us actually, in addition to their own bags they were bringing some equipment for simultaneous translation for the European meetings (a very large, but not particularly heavy box) that would not otherwise have arrived in time. Unfortunately for them, they encountered Brazilian customs who insisted on payment of import duties of Real 4,000 (£1,800) before they would let Andy in the country.
Of course, it needed to be in cash as they wouldn’t take credit cards, and a Saturday to cap it, so after 90 minutes of running around cash machines and exhausting the cash limits on every piece of plastic they had with them they were finally allowed in. Sadly, after just one hour's use, the batteries on the set have just expired.
Down to business
Anyway, down to business. Fiona and Craig are keen to do the daily blog for us, so I’ll be handing over to them, largely (you can imagine the 'negotiations' we have been having, but they reminded me of my belief in youth involvement.).
So, over to the youth!
We have had a very exciting and inspiring week at the World Scout Youth Forum in Blumenau, where we have been involved in discussions with 270 other young people from across the world focusing on a number of issues both within Scouting and the wider community.
One of the main functions of the Youth Forum is to cement the ideas and viewpoints of the young delegates into recommendations to be handed to the World Scout Committee. In order to initiate this process we have been in discussions with other National Scout Organisations (NSOs) who have similar views and have worked together to write and amend recommendations.
These were handed to a committee who spent hours rewriting and drafting recommendations (whilst we were at the Brazilian evening – a pool party and barbecue – in the rain) The final day of the Youth Forum was spent voting on the recommendations and making amendments, which was not an easy task with over 30 to get through and some international grammar (causing Craig some upset).
The main recommendations that we supported and amended were focused on Human Rights, and were well supported and seconded by 27 countries; this arose from the plenary session led by John May who asked us to consider the rights of young people to feed into a paper to be sent to the United Nations.
The other main recommendation we worked on was with our Finnish counterparts, looking at developing the Young Spokesperson scheme across the world, after we led an open forum around the importance of YSPs and the role they have in advocacy as well as promoting a youth-led image.
Inspiring and enlightening
The Forum was very productive and inspirational, however we did remember to have fun, and spent three days at an inter-event at Florianopolis where we visited the beach and had a luau (beach party) with local Scouts.
In between the workshops, plenary sessions and the excellent parties we developed a network of friends which allowed us to learn a great deal about the operation of Scouting across the World. It was clear that there is no ‘one size fits all’ model for successful Scouting and that Scouting is a complex organisation.
One thing was much more simple; that for all our differences and different ways of operating Scouting we are all bound by common values and a clear vision to create a better world. With that we found the whole experience very humbling and we feel very proud to be part of an incredible organisation committed to giving young people the best start in life.